Friday, September 28, 2018

GIALLOctober: Welcome to the Video Series!

It's that time of year!

The GIALLOctober Video Series! 

You can video the video here, on YouTube, or on VIMEO. Please leave a comment! :)

In this series, we'll be covering some of our gialli favorites. Every week, we'll be releasing one or two videos giving a high level overview of a group of giallo film favorites with a given theme.

The Themes
The themes will be rather broad and we'll try to keep them spoiler free, but we'll give fair warning if a spoiler or two creep in around the edges. The planned themes are:


We'd love to here from you! Please leave a comment on the video or here on the blog!

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

The Night of the Virgin

THE NIGHT OF THE VIRGIN  ((La noche del virgen (original title)) is a wild, wild ride. Director Roberto San Sebastián and writer Guillermo Guerrero really hit a home run with this horror comedy playing on SHUDDER at the time of this posting. Man...I love SHUDDER! :)

It's a story told in basically one location. Poor Noco (Javier Bódalo) is stuck at a club alone on New Years Eve. His hopes of "hooking up" for the new year are a mere countdown away from never happening. But then he sees Medea (Miriam Martín) and things start to look up. Sure, she's older than him, but she has a great body and....well....she's looking right at him.
They go back to her place and that's where we're going to camp out for the rest of the film. Medea's apartment is a wreck. Dirty, filled with roaches, and horrid. Medea herself seems to be running hot and cold - being sweet to Nico one moment, then being harsh with him the next. But, poor Nico is still hanging in there for the promised sexual encounter, no matter how horrible the apartment or Medea's actions.
But, what is it that Medea really wants from him? And, will her boyfriend, "Spider" (Víctor Amilibia) eventually get through the front door to kill poor Nico?

The film hits on all cylinders. When SHUDDER and the viewers there were talking about how disturbing and gross it was, I had to roll my eyes. I mean, horror folks here this kinda crap all the time. "It was SO GROSS that people left the theater.....passed out....threatened to take the makers to court!" Most of the time, this is far from the case for a horror movie lover. We've usually seen it done before - more often than not done better as well. But, this film delivers. It does get pretty gross.

I believe the comedy elements work really well, even if you're not usually a lover of foreign comedy. They are simple, cute, and sometimes painful.  Javier Bódalo is a show stealer with his wild teeth and crazy facial expressions and motions. The physical humor is hilarious as well as we watch our hero get battered and abused on screen. As the action ratchets up, so did my laughter and mutterings of, "Ok...yeah...that's really gross!" while I laughed and winced at the same time.

This is a slow burn, but it's SO worth a viddy. It's a funny and gross journey you'll really dig.

The trailer isn't TOO spoilery, but I'd probably aim to watch the film without looking at the trailer. That being said, the trailer is a fun edit! :) 

BLIGHT - short film

I just had the privilege to see the short film BLIGHT and loved it!

From YouTube:

BLIGHT is a terrifying short horror film inspired by the HP Lovecraft story "The Colour Out Of Space". A young police office get more then he bargained for when he visits the home of a reclusive farmer and his family. Starring Jack Parker (Doctor Who) and Adam Basil (Game of Thrones. Made in Conjunction with "The National Film and Television School" and "Neill Gorton Prosthetic Studio".

The film is tight and the effects are fantastic. The actors have a fantastic space to work within - the design is amazing and the minor effects used to situate the location are really well done. The acting is fabulous as well. The period piece works because they kept things very small and contained. Again, fantastic.

Take a look at tell me what you think!

Tuesday, September 25, 2018


Damien Leone's follow up to ALL HALLOW'S EVE is a wild ride. TERRIFIER is a fun watch.

The plot is simple. Old Art the Clown is at it again. He strolls through the night until he stumbles onto two unfortunate post-party gals who are too drunk to drive. He follows them to a diner and the fun begins.

The plot is super light, but you're really not visiting Terrifier for it's plot. It's all about Art the super freaky clown dispatching folks in inventive ways. And there are some ways in this film for sure. It's packed with shocking violence and fear, but somehow manages to avoid feeling too mean doing it, which really surprised me's SO violent. 

Art is a great character. He's creepy as all get out, but manages to be endearing when he's doing his silent schtick and mime work. The acting all around is really solid and helps to sell the whole of it.

If you're looking for a good, old fashioned slasher horror flick, this is it! Check it! 

Blood Demon Rising

Blood Demon Rising. What to say....

Blood Demon is a low budget feature - no hiding that factoid. Low budget. But, the film has a heart and life to it that carries it up and out of the grim world of cheap horror and into a very entertaining space indeed.

Long and the short - there is a blood demon and people are trying to bring it into the world. There's a house of horrors amusement house involved and frat boy characters wandering along with a priest  dealing with psychos, hot vampire girls, and masked cultists.  But, it's all about how the story is presented that makes it really interesting. I've seen a lot of films in this budget range and many of them don't make the blog. Blood Demon Rising earns it's place on the blog right from the get go and manages to impress.

Lots of 3D sets as backgrounds. Not bad work, really!

While some films with a lower budget drop in 3D elements here and there to pep things up and most of the time they just come off as a little sad, BLOOD DEMON goes for the fences and uses a ton of 3D. And, it's not half bad, really. It creates a look and feel that's unique and engaging.

The film itself has the look of a cool stage play. In addition to the 3D mentioned above, they use negative space and darkness to imply a larger space and to highly the action. It's really rather smart.

When the film started, I got a little cringe. "Ut oh....what are we watching here?"  But as it went on, it really grew on me. When the 90 minutes was up, I found myself really enjoying what I saw. Didn't even fast forward through any of it. Harry Tchinski wrote, directed, and did the special effects like some sort of one man army. :::grin::: 

If you are able to not be a snob about a films budget and see the efforts people put into a film, I'm sure you'll enjoy BLOOD DEMON RISING as much as I did. Well worth a viddy!

HA! Spaceship Terror is Harry Tchinski first film from 2011 :) 

Monday, September 24, 2018

Eye of the Cat (1969)

Well, EYE OF THE CAT is not really horror - despite it's tag line of "Terror that takes you beyond any you've ever known!" ((not true at all)) , but I had so much fun watching it that I thought I'd include it here on the blog anyway! :::grin::  Plus, it was written by Joseph Stefano of PSYCHO, PSYCHO IV, THE OUTTER LIMITS,  and the SWAMP THING TV series, so he's in the family. Thank you to Agent Dee for the recommend!

EYE OF THE CAT tells the story of Wylie (Michael Sarrazin), a pretty boy drifter/hippy type that happily humps around with various ladies and crashes with them at their places until something better comes along. The something better here is Kassia Lancaster (Gayle Hunnicutt) who has a plan to use Wylie to get his rich and sickly Aunt Danny's (Eleanor Parker) money and estate. Wylie's brother Luke (Tim Henry) takes loving care of the Aunt, but Wylie was always her favorite. Much TOO favorite...really. :::cringe:::: And Kassia is just evil, saying that after Wylie gets his Aunt to change the will, she'll simply killer her, then they can live happily ever after. What could possibly go wrong?

Wylie's deathly afraid of cats and his Aunt has about twenty of them! hehehehe

The film is a fantastic product of it's time. It's a fun time capsule of 1960's San Francisco. As a former resident, it was fun to see the old City and Sausalito in the year I was born.

Eleanor Parker as Aunt Danny

It's a fun character study as well. Sarrazin is a ton of fun as this drifter hippy cool guy and this whole attitude towards the situation reflects the way he goes through life as well. Hunnicutt is fun as the vampy, evil mastermind behind the plan. It's fun stuff for sure. But, I was really mesmerized by Eleanor Parker. She was stunning! She was 47 when this film was made and I believe she overshadowed the lovely, 26 year old Hunnicutt, though she was enchanting as well.

Gayle Hunnicutt

I had forgotten that Hunnicutt was in another favorite of mine, THE LEGEND OF HELL HOUSE in 1973.

The story plays like a Hitchcock story and it's very engaging for being so simple. I was thinking that it might be able to slip onto my GIALLO list, but it's really pretty far away from that particular sub-genre, though there are some themes at play that....hell...I'm going to go ahead and add it to the list! This has enough giallo elements to consider it one of the fringe giallo style films for sure.

If you like story based, character study films, you'll want to check out EYE OF THE CAT for sure!

Friday, September 14, 2018

The Night of the Hunted

More Jean Rollin goodness here with THE NIGHT OF THE HUNTED. It's funny, now that I've seen several Rollin films and get his style, I'm liking them much more right out of the gate!

NIGHT tells the story of Elysabeth played by the stunning Brigitte Lahaie. She's wandering through the woods when Robert (Vincent Gardère) drives up and spies her. She's wearing a nightgown with no shoes and seems to be completely lost and slightly crazy. He manages to get her into the car and takes her back to his house when he finds out she can't remember anything. Nothing at all. It turns out her short term memory is shot and that she forgets things shortly after hearing them. (I believe that is short term memory damage)

Now... slightly shifty Robert wants to help her, of course. She's a mess and scared of what's as you do - and hold her close. After about 4 seconds of contemplation, he makes love to her passionately. heh   He has to do leave the apartment for work, but writes down his name and number and who he is so that when he gets home, she'll be able to place him as the man who lives in the apartment.

Shortly after he leaves, a man and woman show up to spirit Elysabeth out of the apartment and back to the odd, sterile clinic that she had made her way away from the night before.
happening to her. know...she's gorgeous and afraid and begs for him to make love to her -

The clinic is helping a group of people with the same memory issue and has them all there doing tests and treatments to fix them. But, is there something else going on as well? I don't want to say much more, though there really isn't a whole lot to spoil. There are the usual tropes in here, but the main fun is in the look and feel of the film, the acting, and the poetry of it, really.

For some reason, REDEMPTION video put this on their ZOMBIE COLLECTION 3pack! heheheh . This is not a zombie movie, though there are times where Elysabeth and her friend Solange are zombie-like in their movements. 

In typical Rollin fashion, the characters wax poetic about life and their situation and that makes me happy. Beautiful people stare off into space and recite prose that is just so very French and lovely. And there are strange little happenings like the aforementioned lovemaking between two strangers and a scene involving a bowl of soup later that is all at once heartbreaking and slightly humorous. There's a fever dream quality that I enjoy as well. People drift along as if sleepwalking. And the clinic is shown to be this massive high rise tower, but once you are inside it seems small and claustrophobic.

Then there are some unintentionally hilarious bits here and there like the doctor from the clinic shouting, "I want them alive!" right before firing several rounds at them with his gun. hehehehe . I loved that.

The film is a sad and poetic drama with some horror elements here and there - some of which are VERY horrific indeed, but it leans more towards THE IRON ROSE than towards THE LIVING DEAD GIRL or THE GRAPES OF DEATH on the Rollin scale. More story and character development than scares. I still enjoyed the film and was super happy to add it to my watched Rollin list.

If you are a fan of Jean Rollin and have missed this or if you love French cinema or dreamy dramas, you'll want to make time for THE NIGHT OF THE HUNTED for sure.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Ghost Stories (2017)

I waited. I waited some more. I waited longer still. All the while, my general excitement about GHOST STORIES was growing. When more and more positive reviews started coming in, my excitement was out of control. Finally, when I made time to sit down and watch, I was worried that I was bound to be disappointed due to the hype and hope I had for the film to knock my socks off. However, I was far from disappointed. On the contrary, I was so happy with the film I almost started it over right after it ended.

Andy Nyman of DEAD SET fame (for me at least) plays Professor Goodman who goes around proving that the supernatural happenings in the world are just make believe and fueled by tricksters. There was someone else who used to do the same thing back when Goodman was younger, but that man disappeared without a trace.  That is, until he resurfaces to present Goodman with three cases he couldn't disprove. He asks - no, BEGS Goodman to prove the cases are not real. And so we're off to the races and Goodman goes further and further down the rabbit hole as he interviews the three people involved with the three unsolved case files.

Now, this film could have been played out as found footage, but thankfully they avoid that. It would have been a disaster if they had gone that route. As it stands now, it's wonderfully shot and paced.

The three cases (sections) are gone through in really interesting ways. They were super creepy in a great way. Those familiar and as in love with the works of M.R. James as I am should be very happy with these strange little ghost tales. They take their time telling the story, but don't overstay their welcome at all. Things zip right along, then come to lovely rest stops of terror to really let you stew a bit.

The film's true superpower is simple to see. It's the storylines. They are super solid and roll out wonderfully. As we're introduced to each case persona, we get enough backstory on each person to get a good character base to work from. And with the acting chops of Nyman, Martin Freeman, Paul Whitehouse, and the wonderfully on edge performance of Alex Lawther (Black Mirror, The End of the F@#$ing World) , you are allowed to really sink into the tales as they unfold. The writer/director team of Jeremy Dyson and Andy Nyman really needs to create more films. Period.

I love the overall look of the film as well. It actually reminded me of some of Hammer's more gothic offerings. The whole muted tone of the visuals adds to the feeling of dread that just drips off the screen.

Now, I think I'll stop here for fear of saying something spoilery.

I friggin' LOVED this film. At one point I stood up and muttered, "Holy f@#$....whooooa...."  and at another I was giggling saying, "Oh no no no nooooo...." while watching.

I can't wait to watch this one again. (I caught it on Amazon)

Monday, September 3, 2018

Artist Spotlight: Uno Moralez

Agent Tony passed this gent over to me recently and I LOVE his work.

Uno Moralez was born in Bashkortostan; a republic in the Russian Federation. His work as this crazy, creepy quality that I adore. The distinctive look and feel reminds me a bit of David Lynch's work, but the style is utterly unique.

You can see more of his amazing work on his site:

There's also a fantastic interview with his here: